My goal is to live intentionally. I really want everything that I do to be for a purpose and the best way that I've found to help me live this way is through prayer. Prayer has been one area that I've struggled in since having kids... something always seems to get in the way, or interupt me or I just forget. I've made progress in this area, but I still need work. I thought I would share 2 resources that I have found that have helped me focus a little better and add some direction to my prayers.
The First is from Revive Our Hearts. this is a Prayer Guide for Praying for your husband.
The Second is by Bob Hostetler and this is a great guide for praying for your children.
And just because I cant post something without a picture, here is our birth announcement! They are in the mail as we speak!
Here are some Random/ Awesome Update Photos from Team Whitehead HQ!
Bastian has a rat- His name is Nester. He is sweet and still pretty shy. He goes to the bathroom on me every stinking day when we get him out!
Gabriel got some play silks for his birthday. They are way more fun than I ever thought! We had to dye them ourselves, so the photo above is the silks drying outside in our tree... Im not sure if we look cool like hippies or if we look like colorful rednecks!
These are our playsilks in the dying process! This was kind of time consuming, but definitely worth it!
Here is Tony with the kiddos! It still shocks us that we can't say "The Boys" anymore!
Here are the kiddos! Bastian and Gabriel really love Azalea! It is funny how a little tiny girl can soften these tough men right up! They are constantly asking to hold her. it is really sweet! She already has then wrapped around her tiny pinky! Which is ok... for now.
Crazy faces and dirty shirts! That is what we have here!!
Our first guests post baby were Tony's parents. Not surprisingly, they think that Azalea is pretty awesome!
Due to our zero guests in December rule, we have to celebrate the holidays a little different this year. As soon as Gram and Gramps walked in the door with gifts the boys could barely contain themselves!
Our first real outing with Azalea (other than the grocery store) was to the Richmond Zoo. The boys had a blast! Once again the most exciting part was the parakeets!
Both boys wanted to ride the sky ride. Gabriel got to ride with Gramps and Bastian with Tony. We were worried that Gabriel would not enjoy it.. but he had a blast.
Since we had just welcomed a new baby into our home- we decided to have a low key Christmas this year.
It was very nice to focus on just our family and spend time together.
This was the most relaxing Christmas that we've had in a loooong time!
Here are some photos!
The boys enjoying the new Trampoline! This is the best gift to give your children if you are healing from having a baby! They spend so much time jumping and playing and wearing themselves out and I don't have to do much but watch! In the spring this will go outside and we will experience a whole new side of trampoline fun!!
Tony and the boys opening stockings! We have stuck to our plan of 3 gifts each and a stocking. So once the gifts are opened the stockings become much more exciting!
Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! - 2 Corinthians 9:15
Azalea June Whitehead was born (11 days overdue) on December 14, 2011. She was 8lbs 15oz and 20.5 inches long. (She was our tiniest yet by over 1/2 a pound!)
Here is a little of her story-
We went to a regular checkup on Monday morning. Tony came with me so I would have a little back up in case the midwife wanted to induce or schedule an induction. The thing that we wanted the least was to be induced! The midwife said that the longest that they would allow me to go overdue was 15 days. So we agreed to schedule an induction for Sunday December 17th at 7:00 am and just hoped that I wouldnt need it. The plan was to use every method of induction before pitocin! Pitocin is the devil! We were sent home to try a "home induction." I took 1oz of castor oil in a high protein and other goodies in a shake twice a day. I was super reluctant to try this- and also convinced that it wouldn't work anyways. On Tuesday morning I made my first shake- and luckily when you pair castor oil with that much other stuff, it completely disappears! It did give me a slight upset stomach... but nothing too serious. My second dose was the same. I called a doula/friend and told her about my dirtbag cervix and how I didn't think that the castor oil would work anyways! We talked for about and hour and she reminded me that if I didn't let it work, then it wouldnt! I decided to take a nap- but before going to sleep I decided to read a few birthing stories from Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Not only did this help me relax a ton, but it is fun to read a book of ALL positive birthing stories! (I honestly think that this was a huge piece ouf our baby-having puzzle!) Later that night, I went to a friends cookie/ornament exchange. I had a few contractions on the way there, but they tapered off once I got there.
We headed home and I went to bed early. and then...
Around 3am on Wednesday I woke up from contractions! They weren't unbearable, but definitely not a walk in the park either! I went downstairs and labored on our birthing ball, while everyone else slept. At 4:30am I decided that I needed some help. I woke up Tony and Stephanie (she was in town to help with the boys) Stephanie, after acting like it was Christmas morning, went to our bed to sleep with Gabriel. Tony came downstairs to help me through the contractions. We called our midwife and our doula. They said to just keep them informed. I labored in the shower for about 30 minutes. It was reeeeally nice, but we ran out of hot water! So then I went right back to hunching over the birthing ball! Around 7:00 I asked Tony to tell the doula that I was feeling pressure- not ready to push, but pressure. She told him that we needed to head to the hospital- she guessed that I was at 8 or 9 cm dilated. Tony was wise enough not to share this information with me! Unfortunately, Bastian woke up and came downstairs- he sat on the couch and watched me go through 2-3 contractions! ( He later told Stephanie "Mommy wasn't feeling good this morning, she was flopping around and growling!")
We headed out to the hospital and called the midwife on the way. She said she would be there soon. In the car we put the middle row of seats up and I labored in the car hunched over the birthing ball on hands and knees.The intensity really picked up in the car and when we illegally parked at the ER at MCV I told Tony that I didn't have much left in me. We had to walk through the elevators, and up to Labor and Delivery. Once we got there the registration nurses were trying to get us to fill out a bunch of forms and Tony explained that we were about to have a baby- like any second- and the woman at registration said "She's fine." Tony then snapped! He freaked out a little bit and explained that we weren't filling out anymore documents until after our baby was born! Our Doula arrived in the registration area as well as a charge nurse to determine if I was really about to have a baby... or if we had some time. I had a few contractions in the registration area and through everyone I was calm and collected and definitely on top of the pain... Then I had a huge and sudden urge to push! While still standing in the lobby! This was unlike anything I have felt before! (Having had 2 kiddos before- I have definitely felt the urge to push before.. but this was insane!)
I couldn't control myself anymore, I screamed- alot! Then they decided everything could wait and we should head to a room! I had to walk all the way down the hallway to the 9th room- which was the longest walk of my life!! I had two incredibly loud contractions in the hallway and after much urging from the nurses we finally made it to the room! A resident was in the room and as soon as our doula yanked my pants off he checked me- determined that I was completely dilated and said to push! So I did! She was born after 3 contractions! The entire time I was borderline freaking out! I thought that we would be laboring in the hospital for a few hours... not minutes! We even brought our birthing ball into the hospital! Luckily the entire time, through all of the intensity our doula continued to remind me " This is exactly what you wanted!" And she was right! It really helped to hear that! We were in the hospital for roughly 12 minutes! I loved laboring at home- to reduce the chance of any intervention.. but this was a little close! (The resident later told me "I thought you were going to kill me!" - Apparently, the last part of labor wasn't only intense for me!)
-Azalea was alert and took to nursing right away! We definitely got a better start with her than with the boys! Another motivation to avoid intervention- a successful start to nursing!
-After she was about 30 minutes old- a ton of amniotic fluid rushed from my body. Thats when we realized, that we had no idea when my water broke! Apparently, once your water breaks, the babies head can act as a cork and not allow it to leave your body! So it leaves once the baby is born! It was gross!
-This is the second time that we have used midwives- only to have them miss the birth and to have the babies delivered by a doctor! I truly believe that whoever delivers your baby is who was supposed to... but it makes me feel a little silly that I spent so much time hoping for a specific midwife to be on call when I went into labor! (This time our midwife assumed that she had a little mor time and decided to walk her dog before coming to the hospital)
-I had a slight issue with some postpartum hemorrhaging.. but after a shot of piticin in my leg and lots of uterine massages.. that seemed to clear up.
-We were allowed to leave the hospital at 5pm on Thursday. It was great! One source of stress for me was to be away from the boys for an extended period of time! This worked out perfectly!
-We were beyond pleased with our birthing experience this time around! Laboring at home was so helpful to us and who knows, next time there may not be a hospital involved at all!
Above all we are so grateful to have our baby girl here at last! She was a little feisty at first, but has calmed down significantly! She is not quite as calm as Gabriel... and not nearly as feisty as Bastian was. We may have found some middle ground between our boys, who seem to be polar opposites!